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Kenyan uni joins German STEM initiative

An international graduate training program supported by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development has picked a Kenyan university as it strives to further scale the initiative across the continent.

Strathmore University is the first university to join the program. Photo: Pexels

ESMT Berlin partnered with Canada’s Academics without Borders in the last quarter of 2020 to help escalate the IIP

The Industry Immersion Programme at Nairobi-based Strathmore University is designed to prepare African’s brightest Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics graduates to transition from academia to industry.

The tuition-free joint initiative by ESMT Berlin and the African Institute for Mathematical Science has picked Strathmore as one of the most reputable business training institutions in the region. It will be added to the list of training centres for the program delivered via the German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD).

The coming on board of the university makes it the first to join the program, alongside AIMS training centres in South Africa, Rwanda and Ghana which have been conducting training since inception of IIP five years ago.

The inclusion comes after ESMT Berlin partnered with Canada’s Academics without Borders in the last quarter of 2020, to help escalate the IIP.

“The partnership between ESMT and AWB resulted in scaling the IIP from AIMS to Strathmore University in Kenya,” said IPP program lead David Attipoe.

“AwB’s mission of train-the-trainer aims to recruit volunteers who will assist in transferring program management and tutoring skills to the local team at Strathmore University,” he added.

Currently with the efforts of AwB, two volunteers were working with Strathmore and the other members of the program across three AIMS Centres, he added.

“The train-the-trainer model is a mission mandate of AwB and they aim to build sustainable educational solutions through the ‘teach to fish’ concept instead of handing a fish to the partner,” he said.

“They aim to build sustainable educational solutions through the ‘teach to fish’ concept instead of handing a fish to the partner”

The strategy, Attipoe continued, is to train local universities to develop and deliver the IIP, alongside existing program training partners, thereby empowering African institutions to integrate similar employment readiness initiatives for STEM graduates.

“For a start, a team from Kenyan university will be accompanied by volunteers from AwB with the aim that the following year the program can be run entirely independently by Strathmore University,” he added.

The IPP he explained was founded to give candidates business skills training from Germany’s top business school. This is also done by inviting industry experts to help in soft skills training including personal branding, communication skills and business etiquette.

It also aims to bridge the gap between academically-gifted ‘quantitative’ graduates from across Africa who want to apply their skills in industry, but may otherwise lack the necessary experience to enter the business world.

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